Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Boston-red-sox-cleveland

If you were holding out hope that Daniel Bard was going to morph into a capable starting pitcher, his performance ******** on Sunday should have effectively murdered those dreams.  You just don't walk 6 of 13 batters then take the mound again in 5 days.  When you see the pitches he's hurling (like the one above, courtesy of sbnation.com) it's obvious he has no control over where the ball is ending up.  He's like Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn in the first half of Major League, only way less cool and intimidating. 

Another trait that Bard and Vaughn share is a crazy-fast fastball.  Except, that's another part of Bard's game that's gone completely out the window.  His fastball isn't so fast anymore.  It's actually quite pedestrian.  And while a slight drop was expected (you can't throw the ball 98 MPH 100 times a game unless you're Superman or Justin Verlander), Bard's decrease in speed is way too great.

Cue fangraphs.com, who are way better at explaining this stuff than I am.

They also make pretty nifty graphs.  For fans.

For your visual enjoyment, here is a plot of every pitcher whose average fastball velocity this year is lower than it was last year.

I bet you can pick out the little blue dot that represents Daniel Bard. He’s the lonely little icon in the lower left hand corner, hanging out all by himself with a reduction in average fastball speed of 4.2 MPH. Last year, only three pitchers in baseball – Henry Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, and Jordan Walden – threw harder than Bard. This year, Bard is throwing about as hard as Vin Mazzaro, Jeff Gray, and Jeremy Guthrie.

I'm not in Daniel Bard's head, nor am I in his meetings with the coaching staff.  I don't know how much of this dropoff is by design and how much of it is physical or mental.  But what I do know is that Bard's fastball was special.  Not record breaking by any means, but strong and intimidating.  It setup everything he did as a pitcher.  

When you can zing a 99-100 MPH fastball at a batter you don't need to have pinpoint accuracy.  The batter doesn't have time to figure out if it's outside by an inch or two.  If it's close, he's swinging.  His only hope is he gets the bat off his shoulder fast enough. 

That weapon, that advantage that Bard possessed, has been neutered.  Now he's just a pitcher with poor control and underwhelming stuff.  Without the ability to just pull back and whizz one in there to get himself out of a jam, he's completely exposed.

I don't see any way that the Sox can keep Bard up in Boston, regardless of whether they decide to move him back to the pen.  He's going to need some time to recover from this.  Bard's not broken, but he's certainly in disrepair.  And if they do decide that they still want to turn him into a starter, they better work on that velocity as well as his control. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dolphins teammate on Dion Jordan: It’s a bad situation

Texans reportedly the favorite to be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’

Report: Goodell will not recuse himself from Brady appeal

Will Smith suspended eight games for 'foreign substance'

Report: Kobe Bryant likely to retire following next season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta

Michael Sam signs with CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

Ex-A&M quarterback Kenny Hill transferring to TCU

Michael Bennett compares Pete Carroll to Willy Wonka

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

The Los Angeles Angels are finally finding their groove

Re-evaluating all 30 MLB teams at the quarter mark, ranked

Is virtual reality training the next leap forward for football?

Warriors a very shaky 2-0 against the Rockets

NFL icon Bud Grant zings Pats with Deflategate joke on Twitter

RG3 announces birth daughter's birth on social media

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.